One thing remains constant every new year: new beginnings. What better time to set new goals than at the start of a new year?
The turn of the new year is a popular time to set resolutions. According to a 2016 study, about 41 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. However, of this number, only nine percent reported success in meeting their goals.
This large gap between success and failure may discourage you from setting New Year’s health goals. But if you do, you will miss out on the great things that make setting goals in the new year so beneficial.
Here are three advantages of making New Year’s resolutions and some advice on how to make ones that you can stick to.
You Can Assess Your Situation and Determine Your Next Steps
Everyone has different health needs and concerns, whether they be related to physical, mental, or emotional health. The new year is a time when you can step back and analyze your current situation. This will allow you to find areas that you would like to improve.
For example, as the new year approaches, you could look back at how you went about the current year. Did you get sick after working from home without any exercise? Perhaps you unintentionally lost weight that you have been trying to gain for a while.
By looking at your health over the past year, you can determine what new year health goals you want to set. If you got sick because you didn’t get enough exercise, your goal could be to work out every day. If you unintentionally lost weight last year, your goal could be to eat more nutrient-rich foods and gain muscle mass by lifting weights a certain number of days per week.
Setting new year health goals requires you to be honest with yourself. Where are you now in your health journey and how close are you to your ideal health situation? When you know where you stand, it becomes much easier to set new goals and find the motivation to achieve them.
You Can Inspire Yourself and Others
New Year’s day isn’t the only time you can set goals, but the symbolic nature of a new year makes it an excellent time to start fresh. It can be inspiring to see how much you have accomplished in just one year.
If you see that things got better for you this year, then you would feel optimistic for next year. Experts say that optimism plays a significant role in influencing your positive mental and physical well-being. It promotes adaptive behaviors to stress and can lead to increased resilience.
On the other hand, if this year was not as good for you as you hoped, then setting new year health goals can give you a sense of control. You can decide to take matters into your own hands and not let your situation dictate how you feel.
Moreover, new year health goals are not just for you; they can inspire others as well. When you set an intention to improve your health, you can be a role model for your friends and family. Seeing you better yourself can motivate them to do the same.
You Can Exercise Your Sense of Responsibility
Setting new year health goals is a commitment. You are vowing to yourself that you will do something to improve your health. Making this promise can empower you because you are holding yourself accountable for your health.
When you take responsibility for your health, you acknowledge that it is a priority. This mindset can lead to positive changes in your lifestyle and attitude. You become more mindful of the choices you make and how they affect your health.
In addition, if people are depending on you, such as your family, setting New Year’s health goals can show them how much you care about them. Seeing you taking healthy steps can help them feel secure and loved.
How To Set New Year Goals That You Can Follow
Considering the disparity between the rates of people who set New Year’s goals and those who achieve them, it’s important to set goals that you can follow. Experts in the Mayo Clinic Health System suggest following the SMART acronym as your guide to making achievable new year health goals:
- Specific: Understand what exactly you want to do. For example, you can say that you want to start indoor cycling, but you need to be more specific by saying that you will cycle for 30 minutes three times a week.
- Measurable: Have a way to track your progress so you can see if you are getting closer to your goals. Suppose your goal for attending a spinning class was to lose weight. Instead of leaving it at that, set a measurable goal of a specific number of pounds or inches.
- Achievable: When you set your goals, ensure that you understand the steps you will take and know that you can execute them. It is always good to start small to gauge your limits. You can increase the difficulty of your goal as you make progress. Also, be sure to do your due diligence in researching the likelihood of your specific health goals within a particular time frame.
- Relevant: How important is this New Year’s health goal to you? Be sure that it fits with your lifestyle and values to help motivate you. Otherwise, you may start questioning yourself and forget why you started in the first place.
- Time-Framed: Give yourself a deadline. Since we are talking about new year health goals, January 1 would be your ideal start date. Still, remember that it’s just another day, no different from any other day. You can start as soon as you craft a health plan!
A goal that fits with the SMART acronym could be something like the following: I want to start indoor cycling for 30 minutes three times a week to lose X number of pounds by [goal date].
Set New Year Health Goals and Stay Committed To Meet Them!
When you set new year health goals, you are taking control of your life and your health. In addition, you are also setting an example for others. This new year, commit to your health and follow these tips to make sure you stick to your goals.